The Underscore’s Bleach review 425


425 A Day Without Melodies

Hey there, welcome to a new Bleach review. This week, we get another day in the normal life of Ichigo. Much like last week, the chapter’s feel is a lot more relaxed than it has been during the Deicide arc. Last week I didn’t think the pacing was good enough, but now I realize it just had to do with the fact that we didn’t have any Bleach in the two weeks before that . This week’s chapter just keeps on moving, preparing us for the true purpose of this new arc. I have to say, these chapters sure make me wonder what’ll happen. Let’s get to this week’s review to see what possible hints we got this week. This week I’m using the Mangastream/Binktopia scanlation again, so thanks go out to them for their hard work. Especially for bringing the chapter so soon!

 

Bleach chapter 424, The Lost Agent, rated by 37 voters gets an average score of:

7.3

Great

The grease-head at the end of last week’s chapter with the Shinigami representative badge certainly was a surprise. While it is obvious he’ll be an antagonist, it may not be so obvious at all. We’ve seen plenty of characters that started out looking like an antagonist, but turned out to be good guys (e.g. Renji and Shinji). Then again, Bleach used that plot-device so often that it would only make sense for this guy to actually be an antagonist. But enough on future alliances, let’s judge this book by his cover. Here’s what you guys made of this new guy:

No one felt it was love at first sight with this guy. All I can say is that I agree, but I already dedicated enough time bashing the filler-like appearance of the new guy that I’ll get to the next option.
One voter saw the fillerness dripping off the new character and decided it to be hate at first sight. Or maybe it’s something else (s)he doesn’t like about the new guy, who knows?
Three other voters hate the looks, but think his story should be interesting. To be honest I’m leaning towards this option myself.
Six voters didn’t make anything of this new guy. Quite frankly, there’s little to say about him any way.
Eight voters expressed their thoughts on this new guy quite exquisitely. Their thoughts on the guy: ‘Meh…’. It brings a tear to my eyes thinking of the beauty behind this description .
Eleven voters are still rooting for Aizen as they can’t help but wonder whether the new guy is supposed to replace the God-like Shinigami. I too can’t help but wonder whether there’s anyone who would be able to take Aizen’s place.
Sixteen voters decided to be reasonable by not judging the new guy too soon. Geez, you guys should learn to judge people based on the first impression they give and not wait to see what they’re really like! Wait, what?
But the majority of the voters decided the new guy looks interesting enough. With 24 voters not really caring about the new guy up to this point, we can only wait and see what’ll happen.

Morning call

That’s the same excuse I use when I throw people out of second store windows…

Shadows call out to Ichigo, telling him to wake up. From a silhouette of Renji, Byakuya(?), and Rukia telling Ichigo to open his eyes, we get to Isshin giving his usual morning call. Ichigo immediately react with his Shinigami reflexes as he makes his father fall out the window. But Isshin manages to hold on as he reprimands his son for almost causing him to fall down two stories. He tries to emphasize how serious this is by asking Ichigo what would happen if Isshin had died (says the man who tries to wake his son by kicking him in the face in the morning). Ichigo casually says that his dad would probably end up in Soul Society if he died, to which Isshin responds in an interesting manner. He points out that this is (most likely) the first time Ichigo mentioned Soul Society in over a year.

Ichigo only gets angrier at those words as he confronts his father with a couple of facts. First, his father wouldn’t die from falling two stories. Second, his dad caused him to have weird dreams. After Ichigo stops trying to cause his father to fall out the window, Isshin is curious to hear about the weird dream. But Ichigo then realizes that he already forgot what it was about.

With all that happened in these first couple of pages, we can conclude that Ichigo’s powers will be awakening soon. The three shadows telling Ichigo to wake up and Isshin coming when he did are too much of a coincidence. Something tells me that Isshin knew what Ichigo was experiencing and that was the reason he came in. The days that Isshin wakes Ichigo up are often related to Ichigo’s Shinigami life. Perhaps Isshin sensed that Ichigo’s Shinigami powers are reawakening and wanted to check out what was going on… by flying out the window. But with Ichigo not being aware of what’s going on, Isshin drops the matter. Hopefully for Isshin, Ichigo didn’t do the same to him here.

Awesomeness for Hire

Get your own Ichigo at a Karakura town near you!

The scene suddenly changes to Ichigo asking a student “how much?”, to which he hears 5000 yen. Ichigo then throws the student away as he tells him it’s ridiculous to get 5000 yen a week. He then moves on to another student form the Football club -Soccer for the American readers, but John Cleese can explain why I chose Football in spite of the scanlation -. We then learn that school clubs are trying to hire Ichigo so he will help them out. Judging from the judoka Ichigo just threw away singlehandedly, that club can really use his help. But apparently Ichigo isn’t into the clubs for the sports as much as it is for the money. As Ichigo starts up negotiations, Mizuiro shows up.

Mizuiro is then greeted by Keigo, who tells him that Ichigo is busy negotiating again. Mizuiro isn’t surprised by this as much as that the rental period from the basketball club has ended. Keigo then starts complaining how Ichigo doesn’t have time for him anymore and how he has nothing better to do than to bother Ichigo at work. Mizuiro already knows exactly what’s what as he ignores Keigo for his phone. While negotiations are taking place in the background, Mizuiro and Keigo explain that Ichigo has been asking for money from clubs for quite some time. Mizuiro figures he does it for the money, as Isshin wouldn’t give his son any money (99.99999% chance it all goes to his daughters anyway ) even if Ichigo uses it to move out of the house. Keigo is surprised to hear that Ichigo is thinking of moving out of the house. But Mizuiro figures that Ichigo needs the money to do what he wants either way, though something tells me he’s wrong about that . But more on that later as Ichigo just agreed to join the Football club!

It seems that the football club managed to make the right offer as Ichigo agreed to become their goalkeeper. Apparently, they asked Chad before they asked Ichigo, but he had other (better paying) work to do. Thus Ichigo ends up on the field preparing for practice. Tatsuki then comes to Ichigo as she asks him what he’s doing away from the Basketball club. Notice how two girls in the background are awfully impressed with Tatsuki? They should be, considering she’s now an assistant instructor at her dojo. Ichigo then tells her he’s glad he stopped when he did as he’d hate to call her his Sensei. As Tatsuki prepares to show Ichigo who’s boss, the scene changes to someone else.

The School’s Idol

Just when you thought her boobs couldn’t get bigger…

Orihime is humming while walking through the hallways as three boys talk about how much of an idol she is to the school. Compared to the other stalkers she’s had in the past, these boys may not be too big of an issue. But apparently just a picture of her face is enough for boys to go wild over. But Orihime ignores it completely as she’s too busy humming her tune. after seeing Tatsuki and Ichigo outside, she immediately screams out to them and uses the drainpipe to slide down from the second floor -don’t you just feel silly now, Isshin?- completely ignoring the fact that it is dangerous and exposes her panties. Same as the others we’ve seen up till now, Orhime’s changes aren’t too drastic. Besides her boobs getting bigger (which has been predicted by plenty of you out there) her hairstyle changed as well. The curious thing, however, is that her hairpins are missing…

I have two theories on that. The first one is that Orihime lost her abilities around the same time that Ichigo lost his powers. Her abilities were awakened by Ichigo’s powers, so it’s possible that without Ichigo’s powers existing she can’t use them anymore. But this is unlikely. Thus the second theory: Orihime decided to stop wearing her hairpins for Ichigo. She probably thought Ichigo would be reminded of his time as a Shinigami every time he’d see her hairpins and she doesn’t like the way he looks when he’s thinking about that. To make sure Ichigo wouldn’t be uncomfortable around her, she probably decided not to put on her hairpins. Perhaps she has them close, but I can’t see them in her hair at this time.

Raising Orihime

Let mommy and daddy fight things out Orihime…

Tatsuki practically cracks open Orihime’s skull as she reprimands her for pulling the stunt she did. Ichigo tells her she’s overreacting as Orihime’s just fine. Tatsuki gets angry at that comment as she tells Ichigo to stop lecturing her. As they bicker about Orihime’s upbringing at Tatsuki’s hand, Orihime tries to explain why she was in such a rush. Just when it seemed like she actually had a serious issue to discuss, we find out it’s just normal Orihime rambling.

Apparently she’s been humming her life’s tune lately (as opposed to singing it) because she can’t decide whether “do” should stand for skull gang or unrefined booze. In the single page where Orihime explained her issues, Ichigo and Tatsuki spoke my mind. From asking about what she means with “perfect position” to how she can make her eyes look like three’s, and saying both of the options presented being just as bad. This shows that Orihime is still Orihime, I guess.

Tatsuki then remembers that both she and Orihime have to get to their jobs. As Ichigo mocks her for being in a hurry for work, she reminds him that he has work too. She then reminds him of what happened the last time he didn’t call in for work and how his manager chewed him out for not calling in. Tatsuki then tells him that she won’t remind him anymore, though I get the feeling she came to Ichigo for that explicit reason. For some reason, Ichigo starts to panic as he leaves practice to make a phone call.

Part time work

Yes. On some level, yes.

Ichigo gets his manager angry as Ichigo is calling off for work again. The manager tells Ichigo that he has to get to work today or he’ll lose his job and that no apology will help him. But just when Ichigo agrees to quit his job, as he can’t come in right now, his manager suddenly makes a quick 180. Ichigo tells his boss it’s better that he quit as he’s a flighty guy who doesn’t do his work. The manager then starts begging Ichigo to think it over as his jack-of-all-trades shop is only starting to get interesting. But Ichigo ignores the manager -I’m really curious who this could be- as he hangs up. The jack-of-all-trades shop also brings me to the point that Mizuiro was wrong about.

Not to say that Ichigo wouldn’t want to move out on his own, but I doubt that Ichigo is doing all of this for the money. The fact that he offers his services to whoever pays him enough and the job he had (until five seconds ago) suggest that Ichigo is a bit indecisive. Personally, I think that Ichigo is doing a variety of things here to make up for the variety in his work as a substitute Shinigami. When he was a substitute Shinigami (and before that) he helped lingering spirits to move on and got to face off against a variety of Hollows with unique abilities and appearances (minus the Gillian Menos). But without any spirits he can help, he really only had homework. He probably was loitering around the school after that and was asked to help at a club in exchange for a reward. This inspired him to keep up that business as it gave him some money and something to do. He now uses the excuse of money to cover up the fact that he was just bored and looking for something to fill in the void left by his former powers. The jack-of-all-trades shop was probably just a step up after that, as it offers a bigger variety of jobs when school clubs don’t need him.

Even though Ichigo is now spending his time doing odd jobs, there’s still one thing that won’t change. Ichigo is still a living target for scum as he tends to beat them up. Which brings us to the next part of the chapter.

Antagonists?

Even Hollows look better than these guys

A couple of morons gather at the school’s gate looking for Ichigo. The guy Ichigo knocked out last week had some friends who are looking out for him. The poor thief lost seven teeth at Ichigo’s hand, which are five more than his Aniki allows to get knocked out in a single blow. This merry band of Yankees seem to enjoy doing things old-school as they threaten to block the gates unless Ichigo comes out to fight them. Ichigo is far from concerned by this development or the lack of style. But if there’s anyone in Karakura high who dislikes a lack of style, it’s Ishida Uryuu.

Ishida tells the gang that they should go away as they are just being silly right now. He then tells them they must be friends of Ichigo’s (being Yankees and all) but that they should be smart enough to know they should just leave. One of the punks then asks if Ishida is Ichigo, which wasn’t so smart. The guy immediately gets knocked out as Ishida asks him how he resembles Ichigo. With a temper and attitude like that, all he has to do is dye the hair orange, get rid of the glasses and the two could be twins if you ask me, but what do I know?

We then get a closer look at Ishida than we did last week. Now we see that Ishida did change a bit in the past year and a half. Changing his glasses and his hairstyle (the hair reminds me a bit of Szayelapporo for some reason, I dunno), the ace student is still finicky when it comes to rules. Especially when it comes to his personal rules . With these punks having insulted him, by thinking he’s Ichigo, he decides to take matters into his own hands and to teach them a lesson.

Ichigo sees these developments and rushes to stop Ishida from beating the guys up before he makes matters worse. At this moment, Ichigo is their sole target, so things are easier to handle. But if Ishida gets involved as well this situation could spread to the entire school. There we were, thinking Ichigo would have an easy life at this time, just being a normal high school student. With Ichigo and Ishida now facing off against a couple of Yankees, another shadow appears at the end of the chapter. Is this the leg of an ally, or yet another threat? We’ll find out next week in a new chapter of Bleach!

A decent chapter. Hints at Soul Society needing Ichigo soon, combined with the father/son routine was a good way to start this week’s chapter. Seeing what Ichigo has been doing with his “normal” life was interesting to see as well. Learning that most of Ichigo’s friends have gotten a job outside of school explains some things. Orihime in this week’s chapter was just what we would expect from her in a Bleach chapter. The new look is another minor change, same as we saw last week with Mizuiro, Keigo, and Tatsuki. The hints of Ichigo’s part time job as a jack-of-all-trades was an interesting thing to see. With last week’s developments having an impact on this week’s chapter as well (I doubt the dream Ichigo had at the start of this chapter was unrelated to last week’s encounter) we can see that Kubo is easing his way into the new arc. He got back to the basic formula Bleach had at the start, where we get some goofing off in everyday life as the new arc is set up. Ishida appearing at the end of the chapter to beat up the gang that has a grudge against Ichigo was interesting as well. To think Ishida would bother to even confront scum like them. Whatever peace Ichigo was hoping to find as a normal student, I’m not convinced he actually found any. Though still nothing stellar, the chapter certainly was fun to read. At first glance it seems like things are just as normal as it could be, but behind everything we saw in this chapter we can find a deeper truth. Perhaps there’s a couple of things that are exactly what they look like, but most of the other things can be had some fun speculating with. With these everyday chapters going on, I’m just hoping to see the return of my favorite everyday prop in all of Bleach soon…. the table for joke purposes only.

At the start of this week’s chapter we saw a couple of shadows which undeniably belong to Shinigami. Three different voices told Ichigo to wake up already, before Isshin crashed in that is. So here’s the headspinner on that matter:

Are the Shinigami in Ichigo’s dream a representation of his Shinigami powers telling him to get back or is it a subliminal message sent to him by his old comrades?

Basically what I want you to think about is whether Ichigo’s desires are being manifested in the form of those three Shinigami, or whether those Shinigami are actually in need of him for some reason.

The heavy duty footstep at the end can only mean one thing! Someone will be standing there next week!
Last time we saw such a footstep it turned out to be Don Kanonji, so for all we know it is him again. This time he might be there to deliver a message to Ichigo (wouldn’t that be hilarious, Soul Society having to rely on Don Kanonji to deliver a message? ).
Personally I’m hoping it’s Chad. I’d love to see him beat up those punks for Ichigo. But odds are that it’s that grease-head from last week. This time he’ll probably go for the “hey, I’m a good guy that wants to repay you for what you did for me yesterday, beating seven teeth out of a thief’s mouth, by doing the same for you”-routine so he can get into good graces with Ichigo. He’ll then spend the rest of the chapter sticking to Ichigo and befriending him, causing Ichigo to have more dreams where he sees Rukia and the others.

Another possibility is that it’s Ichigo’s boss, running to Ichigo’s school so he can stop Ichigo from quitting his job .

That’s it for this week’s review. Nothing spectacular this week, but I hope you guys enjoyed it. Be sure to let me know what your thoughts are on this week’s chapter and/or review, give any theories that you may have and to vote in this week’s poll. Don’t forget to rate this week’s chapter! I’ll see you guys again next week!

 

 

Click on the picture above to rate this week’s chapter, and as a reminder here’s what the ratings are:
1.0: Abysmal
1.1 – 3.4: Awful
3.5.-5.4: Bad
5.5-6.9: Average
7.0-8.9: Great
9.0-9.9: Awesome
10: Perfect

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~ by The Underscore on November 7, 2010.

6 Responses to “The Underscore’s Bleach review 425”

  1. i know im biased to the arrancar characters, but im still surprised by how i dont give a shit about ichigo, at all. i mean really, kubo tries to play up the poor ichigo thing here, and all i can think is yeah poor ichigo, my favorite characters all DIED, but ichigo, man he lost his powes, he is definatly the one i should feel bad for… yeah right. this series has potential to fix things now that we have “restarted”, but it still hasn’t fixed the death problem. all good guys survive everything, or pull plotkai out of their ass while villains are all slaughtered. its just terrible writing when you get down to it. in One Piece this also applied, but it worked for the villains too! (until recently, but never mind that) thus it felt fair, the heros dont die, but the villains dont either. with Bleach though, i started to see the main characters as not even characters anymore. they werent real people that could die like you or me, they were just walking plot devices, and the villains were the ones that actually had the threat of death hanging over them when these forces of nature came calling. until kubo fixes this by actually growing the stones to kill a good guy, For real, For good, im just not going to be interested in ichigo. why should i? hes died twice already and the second time he BROUGHT HIMSELF BACK TO LIFE. the excuse was “regeneration”, but Ulquiorra was the best at that we have ever seen, and even he couldnt fix organs! yet ichigo pulls it off effortlessly…

    sigh… nice to get that all out. sorry to dump it on you Underscore, but i think theres a few good point hidden in that rant somewhere. anyway, its really late here, just wanted to say i enjoyed your review once again (though still not as good as the Underscore Mask! :P) and am interested in Orihime not having the headbands. maybe something happened to her powers after the war we dont know about…(secretly hopes she somehow revives the arrancar)

  2. Hello there. Bit late as we’ll have the new chapter out in some hours (I assume) but it’s never too late to say that your review was great as always ! Quickly let’s go for the spinner. Once again I’m typing fast and bar my usual spelling mistakes I am afraid this time I’ll not be comprehensible. Anyways.

    —-Are the Shinigami in Ichigo’s dream a representation of his Shinigami powers telling him to get back or is it a subliminal message sent to him by his old comrades? —–

    Aha, the dreams in the beginning of the chapter was probably the most interesting part. At first I thought that those dreams were a product of Ichigo’s subconsciousness. When something important/tense/”big” happens to your life it’s only natural for you to dream about it some times. Ichigo’s role as the shinigami who saved the Soul Society was a cornerstone in his life. It gave him a whole new purpose as it also gave him new friends. No matter if he can’t see them again or have any sort of connection with this part of his past, all those memories, the feelings and the thoughts still remain. They are there, deep inside his mind. And we all know that mind can awake memories and make this sort of dreams at random times.

    But we can’t neglect that this may be a sort of “sublime” message, or with other words : those dreams ain’t due to randomness. Ichigo continues his life in the World of the Living, completed cut-off from Soul Society. So what if Soul Society and his friends are once in danger ? What if they need him again and that desire of theirs is somehow reaches Ichigo’s subconsciousness ? Well, that would be interesting, wouldn’t be ?

    Another theory : If you pay attention Isshin “switched-off” his ‘goofy’ self when heard about that. It could be possible that these dreams are an after-effect of the Final Getsuga Tensho. Isshin, having used this technique once, may had the same symptoms; dreams about his former life as shinigami. But much later than Ichigo. And that’s why he is surprised. Ichigo had this dreams only one and a half years after the battle against Aizen, and this may be an indication that Ichigo is slowly but steadily starts to regain his spiritual pressure.

    But this is by far the most interesting theory I have ever heard: Ichigo’s is in an ultimate illusion. In Kyoka Suigetsu’s bankai. He is trapped there for 1 and a half years and his friends are making efforts to wake him up. In reality Aizen defeated Ichigo and he eventually made the Key. Every single thing from the moment Ichigo fired Mugetsu and beyond was fake. In reality Soul Society has been destroyed, the Gotei 13 has been shattered and the captains are hiding from Aizen’s New Order Enforcers. The World where Ichigo is about to wake will be entirely different : a sort of dystopia where the God is now Aizen.

    But that is an overly cracky and near-impossible theory since some facts can’t be explained, like Aizen’s trial or the appearance of the new character(s). No need to say that Kubo wouldn’t have the guts to pull this. Still it’s a pretty damn good theory, you have to admit. :p

    To be honest I tend to believe that this dream is due to Ichigo’s subconsciousness, a random event and nothing more. But let’s wait to see if there’s more to them.This is only the beginning.

  3. By the way about the poll, I want to see Aizen of course. But the weird thing is that I don’t want to see him just now. His return must have an impact in the plot and that could happen only if he appears much later. Definitely NOT during this arc.

  4. I like the Aizen’s Bankai theory. Mostly because I WANT TO SEE THAT BANKAI!!!!

  5. @takashid:
    I honestly don’t think we’re supposed to feel bad for Ichigo. Let’s face it, he finally got what he asked for all his life. The fact that the good guys can’t die is a bit troublesome, I agree. But you shouldn’t forget that the Arrancars that were killed by Shinigami are all torn back into the original souls they were made from (remember, Menos Grande consist of multiple souls). The only real death we’ve seen was Ulquiorra, because he wasn’t killed by a Zanpakutou. The rest of the villains -except Tousen and Gin, I suppose- were broken down into spirit particles/sent to Soul Society (see the chapter with Orihime’s brother). But who knows, maybe with Slickback appearing a greater threat can arrive with people actually intent to kill the good guys. Aizen could’ve killed the whole lot, but he chose not to as a way to show off how awesomely powerful he was.
    @Kuroi:
    With most of your post being about the headspinner I’m not supposed to say too much. But what you said about Aizen’s Bankai theory, I have to say it crossed my mind. But I chose to ignore it due to the new characters and the fact that Ichigo lost his powers anyway. Something tells me that Aizen’s Bankai doesn’t work on those without any Spiritual awareness. Ichigo is the only person in the world right now without any Spiritual powers at all, while the average human still has the basic soul powers (minor as they may be). But who knows? Maybe this ís an illusion. Kubo already used another near impossible plot, saying that Aizen had been observing Ichigo from birth. If Aizen can do that, he can create a reality for Ichigo that lasts for years.
    @Wilborn:
    The Bankai theory could work on some level. Maybe Aizen is now using the Slickback appearance to have Ichigo regain his powers for a second stage in his plans…

  6. Needs moar GJ
    And bleach has always sucked, therefore there is no chance for recovery.

    Bleach is the epitome of a shitastic masterpiece.

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